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Environment

Florida’s Republican lawmakers are looking at new ways to address climate change in the state.  It’s part of a shift in policy when it comes to addressing environmental issues.  The sea change comes as younger republicans ditch old policies, which included not even using the words climate change.

Publicdomainpictures.net

Importing, exporting and selling shark fins would be illegal in Florida, under a proposal filed Thursday by state Rep. Kristin Jacobs, D-Coconut Creek.

With shark fins considered a delicacy in parts of Asia, "finning" is already an illegal practice in Florida and the U.S. That practice involves cutting off fins at sea before sharks are dumped back into the water to die. The state requires sharks harvested in Florida waters to be brought to shore in a whole condition.

The American Flood Coalition is hosting its first Florida Mayors Summit in Washington, D.C., Monday and Tuesday, where 19 current mayors, representing more than 2.6 million Floridians, will hear from experts and talk to members of Congress about flooding and sea level rise.

Some of the most dramatic sea rise around South Florida has occurred in the last two decades: at least five inches near Virginia Key since 1992.

morguefile.com

Florida wildlife officials say they’ve arrested two men for poaching thousands of turtles and selling them.

A Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission news release says 39-year-old Michael Boesenberg and 23-year-old Michael Clemons were arrested this week and face multiple poaching-related charges.

On this week's Florida Roundup, we discussed the Florida connection to the impeachment inquiry surrounding President Donald Trump with Emily Mahoney, Florida Government Reporter, Tampa Bay Times and Miami Herald.

dead fish on a beach
Mote Marine Laboratory

Scientists say a red tide bloom is making its way into southwest Florida bays and killing sea turtles.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced plans to propose sweeping legislation meant to address Florida's water woes in a press conference Wednesday outside a Jupiter sewage plant.

The proposals largely follow the recommendations of a panel of scientists DeSantis appointed in April - a sharp departure from his predecessor Rick Scott, who refused to meet with scientists. DeSantis said the broad measures will be aimed at the state’s biggest sources of pollution: farms, aging wastewater treatment plants, stormwater and treated human waste used as fertilizer.

honey bees
Steve Newborn / WUSF Public Media

One of the foundations of American agriculture is under attack on several fronts. The victims - bees. WUSF visits one beekeeper in Polk County who has to drive thousands of miles every year to keep his hives humming.

Cuba coral
Steve Newborn / WUSF News

With the sponsor pointing to concerns about skin cancer, a Senate committee Monday approved a measure that would prevent local governments from banning over-the-counter sales of sunscreen.

Florida Wildlife Officials Offer Exotic Pet Amnesty Program

Oct 14, 2019

Floridians with exotic animals, both legal and illegal, are being offered pet "amnesty," to turn in animals for which they can no longer care.

With a curved carapace, angry-looking eyes and a spiky tail, horseshoe crabs look like nature’s armored tanks, crawling in the sand at the shore.

Amid the devastation of Hurricane Michael along Florida's Panhandle, experts say there's a ray of hope: a once imperiled bird is enjoying a renaissance.

A new camera that uses special wavelengths of light could help Florida in its fight against the invasive Burmese python.

Stargazers looking up at the night sky this weekend will be able to get a glimpse of what’s called a Hunter’s Moon and two other planets. 

The full moon will be its biggest and brightest once it rises past trees and houses at around 12 midnight Saturday night into Sunday morning.

Nearly 30 vulnerable bird species that call Florida home could lose more than half of their current range due to climate change and sea level rise, according to a new report from the National Audubon Society.

Florida’s struggling citrus industry is projected to see a 3.3 percent increase in production in the newly started growing season.

Climate change is a major problem, and solving it will be complicated.

But people can make a difference in their daily lives, a local environmental expert said Tuesday during a free class aimed at empowering individuals to make meaningful changes.

Florida To Use VW Emissions Money For Cleaner Buses

Oct 9, 2019

New public-transit and school buses that run on electricity and alternative fuels would get much of Florida’s share of a federal payout from a Volkswagen emissions scandal, under a plan rolled out Tuesday by the state. 

Techniques to manage Florida’s black bear population over the next decade, including the possibility of regulated hunting, are outlined in the draft of an updated 10-year plan released Tuesday.

Following Hurricane Michael’s destructive path through Florida’s panhandle, headlines painted a grim future for timber, a major industry in the region. The losses were huge – valued at $1.3 billion. Yet not all was lost, as some lumber and paper mills in the region are still going strong.

A state task force examining ways to fix Florida’s dirty water narrowed its recommendations on Monday by suggesting tighter rules for septic tanks and aging stormwater systems.

A new study shows that a breeding program that paired endangered Florida panthers with Texas pumas likely has helped save the official state animal from extinction.

Officials say Florida trappers have captured a record-setting python as part of a growing effort that encourages hunters to remove the invasive snakes from the Everglades.

A report recently released by the United Nations's International Panel on Climate Change finds that oceans around the world are in trouble.

More than 100 scientists from 36 countries worked on the report that shows carbon emissions from human activities are putting a dire strain on ocean health.

 

The findings have big implications for South Florida, where much of life revolves around the water.

Florida's only Democrat elected to statewide office turned her focus Thursday to energy conservation, as  Agriculture Commissioner Nikki Fried unveiled a list of conservation measures.

Honey bees have captured my attention.

As more local beekeepers began popping up at the farmers market, it seemed that friends and family were becoming obsessed with the hobby - and they weren't alone.

Turn off the lights when they aren't needed? Check. Lower the thermostat a few degrees in winter? Maybe. Go full-time vegetarian? Probably not.

Offshore fish cages
WIkipedia.com

What could become the nation's first fish farm in federal offshore waters has been proposed for 45 miles off Sarasota in the Gulf of Mexico. And it is rousing the ire of some fishermen and environmentalists.

The Southwest Florida Water Management Board met this week. At last.

The board had to cancel a meeting recently because it lacked enough members present to have a quorum. Only seven of its 13 seats were filled at the time, and one member did not attend. The other vacant seats were awaiting appointments from Gov. Ron DeSantis.

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